Baby girl gone hiking “rundumadum” Vienna.

When Markus recently became the father of a baby girl, he saw his fitness levels decrease. To counteract this, he came up with a family project called the ‘Rundumadum Weg’, walking all around Vienna’s city border. An adventure and, at the same time, a thorough workout, in the company of friends and family.

I’m in my mid-thirties so my focus has shifted from being up all night organizing music events to the need to stay fit and healthy. Sounds clichéd – I know. Having a desk job in finance means that exercise and working out are even more important if I want to keep fit. Before my daughter was born at the end of 2017, I used to run, cycle and hike on a regular basis. I wasn’t sure if having a baby would really turn my life upside down, as other parents say it does. Nor could I foresee its effects on my spare time and my fitness routine, to be fair. I had the feeling it could be difficult keeping up my fitness levels, so I was on the lookout for a new ‘project’.

A crazy fitness idea.

That’s when I remembered a colleague’s crazy idea: he had tried to circumnavigate Vienna on foot in 24 hours. Obviously, he didn’t manage to do it, but he was full of praise for the route – called the Rundumadum Weg. So my girlfriend and I started to plan our ‘Rundumadum’ project, obviously allowing more time to finish the route. I also wanted to include my daughter and decided to bring her along, either in a stroller or in a baby carrier. Our aim was for the three of us to undertake this project together. So we started in April 2018.

In 125 kilometers around Vienna.

We were surprised by how beautiful the route of the ‘Rundumadumweg’ was taking us through the marvellous natural variety of Vienna’s outskirts: we walked along wood trails and canal routes, and through cemeteries, nature reserves and even the suburbs you don’t normally cross on foot. We divided up the route – totalling about 125 km – into 18 half-day hiking trips and invited our friends to accompany us on the different segments.

Keeping fit with a baby.

The reason we decided on such short segments was our baby girl. Don’t forget someone had to carry her (since she was 6-9 months old), which meant 7-9 kilos of extra weight. My advice, if you’re undertaking such a walk, is to plan some breaks. More than two hours of carrying a baby can get really intense and is a workout in itself – perfect for your back and core muscles. ;-).

Bonding over hiking.

She really loved being in the baby carrier, so it was easy for us to do all of the trips. Although she slept for most of the time on our first walks, her naps started getting shorter every time we went out. So we stopped at various playgrounds along the way, watching our daughter developing her crawling and sitting skills. The breaks got longer and we paused more frequently.

Why didn’t we consider taking a stroller with us? Because some paths were too difficult to take a buggy with a sleeping beauty in it

Friends and family on a hiking mission.

Irene and I planned the tour in 18 segments, each involving between 4.5 and 12 km in one day. We sometimes walked accompanied by friends and family members, and sometimes there were just the three of us. We always used public transport to get back to where we had left off the previous time. Sometimes it took us longer to travel to one segment (starting point and back home) than to do the actual hiking. All of the parts were definitely worth doing because we were able to hang out in parks other than the ones near our home. So, if you are bored of walking around the same park over and over again, try starting your own ‘Rundumadum’!

It’s not over yet – I’m really looking forward to doing the tour again when my daughter is able to walk on her own.

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